When someone goes to the doctor to have their blood pressure checked, the doctor or the nurse will usually inform them about two numbers, depending on the two numbers, they’ll know whether or not to be concerned. However, some doctors or health care facilities do not take the time needed to explain to people what the two numbers mean. Having your blood pressure checked is one of the most important tests that you will take regularly; therefore, I thought that I should spend some time on giving you a quick analysis on blood pressure and what the numbers mean.
The first number that the doctor or nurse will call out to you is the systolic pressure. Systolic pressure is measured when the heart beats and it is an indicator of the highest amount of pressure against the wall of the arteries. However, between beats, the heart rests; therefore, blood pressure drops to its lowest level. This low reading is the second number that the doctor calls out to you and it is called the diastolic pressure.
Therefore, if you your doctor or the nurse say that your blood pressure is 120/80, it simply means that your systolic pressure is 120 and your diastolic pressure is 80.
Now that you know what the numbers mean, keep in mind that blood pressure goes up and down (fluctuates) throughout the day. In some cases, your blood pressure may rise in the doctor’s office because this is where some people feel most nervous or tense. Therefore, do not wait for doctor visits to check your blood pressure; blood pressure is better checked when you’re at your most calm and unstressed. In addition, blood pressure is best determined when you average a total of three readings, which are taken on different days. According to most doctors, a continuous reading of 120/80 is ordeal for healthy adults and is considered normal.
Here are several blood pressure ranges that you should be aware of:
Normal blood pressure: 110-130/70-85
High normal blood pressure: 130-139/85-89
Mild hypertension: 140-159/90-99
Severe hypertension: 180 or higher/110 or higher